Felixstowe prepares for Art on the Prom

ARTISTS and art lovers are expected to head to the coast tomorrow for Felixstowe's annual Art on the Prom event. For the last three years, the town has reinvented itself as a cultural Mecca with a string of artists' stalls stretching from the pier to northerly point of the promenade on the first Sunday in September.

ARTISTS and art lovers are expected to head to the coast tomorrow for Felixstowe's annual Art on the Prom event.

For the last three years, the town has reinvented itself as a cultural Mecca with a string of artists' stalls stretching from the pier to northerly point of the promenade on the first Sunday in September.

Last year the event, the biggest of its kind in the county, attracted 15,000 visitors, and this year the stage is set for an even bigger day out.

As well as artists' stands, the Spa gardens will be the backdrop for a series of 'have-a-go' adult and children's workshops catering for everything from hoola hooping to willow sculptures.

Founder of the annual event, American-born Jessie Fotherby who modelled the event on a four-day festival in her native Virginia, said: “When it comes to artistic endeavour it's easy to think it stops at the east of the Copdock roundabout.

“There's loads going on in Felixstowe that people just don't know about - Art on the Prom is a great way of showing off just what we have. There's no reason Felixstowe can't be known for something other than the docks and the Sunday market.”

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With a judging panel assessing applications for a £45 pitch, the standard is set to be high.

Mrs Fotherby said: “We don't want to discourage talented amateurs but, if we want to attract some heavy hitters, we have to make sure the standard is high.”

Artists travel from as far afield as London as well as from around the county. And rather than selling a couple of £20 paintings, there can be some serious cash being spent.

Jessie said: “It's not unusual for some paintings to go for £200.”

The event, which includes a children's art competition, the Ipswich and Norwich Brass Band and Ipswich Caribbean Steel Drum Band, will also link up with an exhibition of 'marine scapes' at nearby Languard Fort by artist Nadia Hebson.

Art on the Prom will run from 11am until 4pm. For more details visit www.artontheprom.org

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